PDP-Congress coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir has started tottering as the Peoples Democratic party has hit hard at the foundations of the ruling alliance by publicly humiliating the Congress in the House on Tuesday.
Congress is unhappy the way PDP dishonoured the government in the Legislative Assembly by passing the opposition National Conference’s bill on Tuesday.
That has lent credence to the belief in Congress that the PDP is indulging in an internal sabotage of the government.
It has become evident to them that PDP has not reconciled to the change of the guard that took place in November 2005, when Ghulam Nabi Azad took over as chief minister.
"Now it would be clear to Congress high command that how PDP is stabbing the government in the back," said a Congress minister on condition of anonymity Congress camp has pointed out toward developments on Tuesday, which, it has concluded, cannot be dismissed as coincidences.
All what happened was a design rather than coincidence, a Congress leader remarked.
National Conference leader and MLA Mehboob Beig had tabled a bill calling for increased punishment for those having and issuing fake state subject certificates The bill fell in the voice vote as Dy Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone declared it so after the voice vote.
But PDP’s senior leader Muzzaffar Hussain Baig stepped into the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday afternoon for the first time since the budget session began, on January 8 and provided a legal cover in getting the bill passed by head count.
It could not be a coincident that Baig arrived in the House for the first time during the session and that too at a time when the bill was tabled ?These questions were being raised in the Congress camp.
Baig, who is not a happy man ever since he was removed from the position of the Deputy Chief Minister and leader of PDP’s legislature Party, has made several points at once. As he has no stake in the coalition government, he can play his legal charm to bring its fissures in the open with a finesse.
Since former CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is not present in the House, it is difficult to ascertain whether he had his blessings or not. If he had the approval of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, then it clearly showed that Baig was doing it at the behest of the top PDP leadership.
Baig can utilise this method of working to please Muftis that he has placed PDP as the voice of the people of Kashmir where the question of distinct identity of the people and permanent resident certificates is a sensitive issue.
And, politically, if Muftis were not in the picture in his move, then he has sought to convey a message that he can do things on his own in the party despite having no position in the party hierarchy.
That may be a big challenge emerging for the Muftis. He has shown that he has the capacity to take some legislators to his side by appealing to their sense of Kashmiri identity.
It is the way he became advocate of National Conference - the main political rival of PDP in the Kashmir Valley- also indicated that Baig, known for his intelligence and legal skills, is alive to the emerging situation. He chose to do so show himself in the brighter spotlight in Kashmir politics.
He has pleased NC no end. The opposition party not only won the vote, and humiliated the Government.
The future course of Muftis would show that how they have viewed the situation. At the moment, they are silent.
Former Deputy Chief Minister Muzzaffar Hussain Baig‘s version:
Q. You wanted to destablise the Government and your visit to the Assembly Tuesday was not a coincident.
Baig: "I am not hostage to positions. I was in Delhi. On my arrival, I straightway went to the Assembly. I didn’t even know what the business of the day was. "
Q. What was your motive?
Baig: " I have saved the PDP. Had the PDP not voted for the bill, National Conference would have created havoc in the Valley. Today, they have nothing to say"
Q: It is said that you have a secret understanding with National Conference
Baig: "No I have no understanding with NC. This was an important issue where laws of the state were concerned. I had to say what I felt like."
Q. You wanted to overshadow your successor Tariq Hameed Karra who presented first ever economic survey and was preparing to present his maiden budget on Wednesday.
Baig: This is such a petty thing that I don’t want to waste my time by replying to this."
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